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Kingston University student Oliver Horsfall wins top award at the International Youth Arts Festival 2015 for play The Edge

Posted Friday 31 July 2015

Kingston University student Oliver Horsfall is celebrating this week after receiving a Best in Fest award at the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) 2015, beating around 100 other acts and performances.

His play, The Edge, explores ideas of grief and depression, telling the story of a man contemplating suicide at a cliff edge and the woman who attempts to talk him out of it. Writer and director Ollie was excited to see it performed in front of a sold out Friday evening audience. "I was a bit overwhelmed," Ollie said. "I wasn't quite expecting the reaction it got, but the response from our audiences was fantastic. People, including some from Creative Youth, not only complimented my amazing actors (Luke Jasztal and Rebecca Pickering), but also commented on my writing and direction, which is a huge confidence boost."

The Edge is Ollie's writing and directing debut and was originally written as a 15-minute stage play for a course module. "I am interested in exploring what makes us tick as humans and I started to poke at this with The Edge, but 15 minutes didn't give much time to round out the characters. By extending the play, the characters could develop more and I could really examine the subject matter. It's essentially an argument between the depressed side of a person and the uplifting side - two sides of one psyche - but played out by two characters."

The actors on stage performing The EdgeImages courtesy of Tangle Photography

Alex McSweeney, lecturer in the School of Performance and Screen Studies said: "The whole department is very proud of Ollie and his well-deserved win and we look forward to seeing what he produces during his last year of study at Kingston University. It is an achievement for all our students who are selected to perform at IYAF and as a department we support them in any way we can, including funding their application fees."

Ollie has now been asked to show the play to staff and students in the Drama department at the start of the new academic year, and he and his two actors also plan to tour the play around London in the autumn. "It will be part of a double bill. I am currently writing a second short play in which Rebecca and Luke will be playing new characters in story very different to The Edge."
In the longer term, this time next year Ollie will be graduating from his creative writing with drama degree and plans to have his theatre company, DonkeyDrop (a play on his surname), up and running with plays in production.

"Getting the Best in Fest award is really incredible, not only for me, but for my actors too. It's a great thing to have behind you if you're applying for funding or looking for an agent. For me, it's all this and more. While there is a slight element of pressure on me that I always have to continue to live up to this, I'm taking the acknowledgement and using it to encourage and motivate me towards the future. It really feels like the sky is the limit right now."

  • Find out more about studying drama at Kingston University
  • Find out more about studying creative writing at Kingston University

Students encouraged to plan, prepare and prioritise to secure a university place during Clearing

Posted Wednesday 29 July 2015

Students encouraged to plan, prepare and prioritise to secure a university place during Clearing

Students awaiting A-level results on 13 August are being urged to plan ahead in case their results aren't quite what they expected. Clearing hotlines are predicted to be as busy as ever this year but the advice from Kingston University staff is clear - students have an opportunity to stand out if they are thoroughly prepared and armed with a Clearing action plan.

Studying for an undergraduate degree has never been more popular - more than 500,000 first year students enrolled on undergraduate degree programmes at UK universities in 2014. However, figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) also show that the number of students using Clearing to secure a degree place is at an all-time high, with a record-breaking 61,300 students finding a spot at university via this route last year....


Sportsman makes leap from basketball to biomedics after scoring a Kingston University place through Clearing

Posted Thursday 23 July 2015

Sportsman makes leap from basketball to biomedics after scoring a Kingston University place through Clearing

When a shoulder injury forced up-and-coming Italian basketball player Shadi Ambrosini to rethink his higher education plans, he didn't let it put him off his stride for long. Instead, the sports enthusiast who had originally been planning to relocate to the United States to take up a university scholarship studying biology, bounced back with another plan.

"I'd already been awarded an academic scholarship but also needed an athletic one to make it viable - and that was dependent on me being able to play basketball at a top level," the 20 year old, who had been contracted to Italian Serie A basketball squad Cimberio Varese, explained. "When I hurt my shoulder, my basketball career was finished overnight and suddenly I found myself having to look again at my situation and consider what to do next."...


Join fellow Kingston University alumni as they run to support care leavers

Posted Wednesday 22 July 2015

Join fellow Kingston University alumni as they run to support care leavers

Kingston University alumni are raising money to support care leavers studying at Kingston by taking part in the Royal Borough of Kingston 10-mile run.

The money raised will go towards care leaver bursaries – non-repayable financial support of £1,500 per year for each care leaver student at Kingston University....


Kingston gets silver as Business School secures prestigious Small Business Charter Award

Posted Friday 10 July 2015

Kingston gets silver as Business School secures prestigious Small Business Charter Award

Kingston University's Business School is celebrating after achieving a silver Small Business Charter award in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise. The Small Business Charter Award scheme - of which Kingston Business School is a trailblazing member - acknowledges institutions which have, between them, already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain's important micro-business and start-up sector.

Small Business Charter business schools in the United Kingdom have also directly helped more than 8,000 small businesses through a range of support including; on-site incubators with dedicated space for students and start-up businesses, growth and leadership programmes and full-time networks of alumni and local business experts supporting both students and small businesses. More than 800 new businesses have already been started as a result of business schools like Kingston....


Kingston University teams up with Women's Institute to fashion centenary knitwear collection

Posted Wednesday 8 July 2015

Kingston University teams up with Women's Institute to fashion centenary knitwear collection

The Women's Institute has joined forces with leading fashion educator Kingston University London to weave together a century of knitting know-how with the vision of some of fashion's future trail blazers. Twenty one members of the WI, all keen knitters or crafters, cast off the organisation's more conventional image to work with 11 up-and-coming designers from the University's fashion department in a cutting edge collaboration unveiled in a catwalk show at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the voluntary organisation's centenary celebrations.

The project was the brainchild of Kingston University knitwear specialist Associate Professor Samantha Elliott and the National Federation of Women's Institutes' Craft Council. "I have long been an admirer of the Women's Institute and Kingston University's fashion department has a strong tradition of collaborative working," Ms Elliott said. "So when I met the institution's craft adviser at industry showcase the Knitting and Stitching Show, I seized the opportunity to talk about how we could bring the two organisations together. It made perfect sense to me to blend the craft skills and heritage of the WI with the design expertise and cutting edge technology we have at Kingston University." The young designers and their Women's Institute volunteers created an eclectic range of eye-catching knitwear which included sophisticated sportswear and an androgynous trouser suit and jumper. Institute members with craft experience were invited to volunteer for the project through the organisation's magazine and website. Ms Elliot matched the 21 women chosen with the cream of Kingston University's final year knitwear students - with two WI ‘makers' assigned to each student. The teams first met at the institute's craft headquarters Denman College in Oxfordshire last September to learn a little about each other's experience and expertise. A former Vogue knitwear designer, 87 year-old Shelagh Hollingworth from Powys and Radnor Federation, and wool mill owner Karen Griffiths from Derbyshire Federation, an expert in processing specialist fleece such as Alpaca, were among the members who took part in the project....


Kingston University fine art graduate gets it spot on with 101 Dalmatian-inspired installation

Posted Friday 3 July 2015

Kingston University fine art graduate gets it spot on with 101 Dalmatian-inspired installation

To the uninitiated observer, the latest work from Kingston University fine art student Sophie Filipiuk might simply look like a collection of cuddly canines straight off the set of much-loved children's movie 101 Dalmatians. To its creator, however, there is a far more serious message behind the assembled soft toys, trinkets and spotted objects on which they're perched - her 201-piece installation is an examination of obsession, greed and the often complex world of the hoarder.

Sophie's latest work, called Dal-Nation, has been inspired by Dodie Smith's 1956 children's novel about Dalmatian pups sought after by fur-obsessed fashionista Cruella De Vil, whose rampant addiction drove her to extreme behaviour. Unlike the determined villain, whose antics have sent shockwaves through generations of young bookworms and movie-goers, Sophie didn't resort to kennel-raiding and dog-napping to create her masterpiece though. Instead, her exhibit consists of an array of Dalmatian-themed paraphernalia painstakingly salvaged from car boot sales and charity shops, set atop a decorative display of boxes specially hand-painted with the help of artist friends....


Kingston University design graduate embarks on mission to halt decline of the humble hedgehog

Posted Thursday 25 June 2015

Kingston University design graduate embarks on mission to halt decline of the humble hedgehog

A keen conservationist and up-coming-designer has turned her talents to devising a shelter for one of the United Kingdom's most treasured garden inhabitants - the hedgehog. Wildlife enthusiast Antigone Frichot, who has just completed a BA(Hons) in Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University, has come up with the concept for a garden haven light enough for human handling but robust enough to withstand the dogs, badgers and foxes who prey upon the spiny mammals and their young.

Dubbed Hoglodge, Antigone's creation is made of terracotta, which she chose for its insulating properties, and consists of a raised hollow base topped with a floor, a wall and a dome cover. The base has been designed to keep hibernating residents off the cold ground, while the wall deflects wind and blocks predators from gaining entry....

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